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The Devil’s in the Details:Why a Revenue-based Farm Program is No Panacea

Keith Coble and Corey Miller
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Corey Miller: Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

No 9602, Working Papers from Mississippi State University, Department of Agricultural Economics

Abstract: Producer and other interest groups are beginning to consider farm policy positions in anticipation of hearings and possible serious farm bill debates during late 2006 and 2007. An idea gaining attention and support among some groups is deemphasizing or eliminating the current commodity “price” programs (loan deficiency payments and counter-cyclical payments) and replacing them with programs based on “revenue insurance” designs. Suggested designs include a multi-tiered farm payment program based on individual revenue guarantees and shortfalls in county revenue. Another example of such an alternative design is a whole-farm revenue design that issues program payments when adjusted gross farm revenue falls below a historical five-year baseline. Interestingly, programs quite similar to both proposals have been offered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) since 1999 as part of the federal crop insurance program. In this paper, we evaluate the implications of using revenue-based designs as the primary U.S. farm support program. Our analysis considers implementation issues, distributional effects of such a change, and implications for compliance with WTO rules.

Keywords: farm policy; revenue insurance; WTO. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E32 R10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 10pages
Date: 2006-01, Revised 2006-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-ias and nep-mac
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